To start with, yes.. I am a n00b at most of this.

I have tried to search for my question, but the only identifying words that I know for my adapter are:

500 mW

From those, I don't have a vendor even other than Realtek, I am swimming through post after post of items not relating to my question.

That said. I have heard a lot of hype around the Alfa adapter and looked at it. I was $10 more than the adapter that I ultimately settled with, I have limited funds thanks to the missus and for the price of the Alfa plus $10 I picked up an adapter plus a 5 dBi and 9 dBi antenna with magmount.

This has now come in, works great, with my limited testing, on BT3, but a nagging gnat is buzzing in my head making me wonder whether I made the right choice of "adapter+antenna" versus Alfa.

Here is where I bought the adapter from {no url's yet sorry. Will have to google}:

RealTek 500mW USB WiFi Adapter w/threaded (RP-SMA) Antenna Jack & 5dBi Antenna From Data-Alliance

There is an ALFA referrenced on that page, for receive sensitivity, and going to Data-Alliances' page on the Alfa states an output power of 500 mW flat, while for the adapter I picked up it gives two different outputs, one for 11g the other for 11b.

Does the Alfa give 500 mW power at both protocols, or is it the same as my adapter where it gives better performance at 11b and less optimal performance for 11g? I know they both have the same chipset, but the rest of the hardware would require someone to open an Alfa and take a few pics for comparision. Until I get to 15 posts, I cannot link anything.

I am hoping that I have stumbled upon the age old, same board just packaged by someone else trick, as that would mean I scraped out with an "Alfa + 5 dbi Antenna + 9 dBi antenna and magmount" for the price of the "Alfa + 2 dBi antenna".

Also, without the use of the wireless power meters, what is the best way to try and measure my output? I tend to stay away from the "move until you can't get a connection anymore" testing as that is all subjective based upon conditions at that time in that area for that second.

Has anyone else picked up this adapter that could give me some hint as to what the performance of this versus the Alfa is?